Walking the Crown Track
Image: Sean Willcock | Creative Commons
This track showcases beautiful scenery, good swimming holes and interesting mine relics. It passes the remains of the extensive Karangahake Mines, with optional short side trips to view tunnels and the impressive Woodstock Underground Pumphouse. Further up the Crown Track follows a pipeline and other relics from the gold mining days.
It is suitable for most fitness levels. A torch is recommended for a 200 m tunnel on this track.
From the Karangahake Reserve car park, cross the suspension bridge over the Ohinemuri River then head uphill. Follow the Crown Tramway Track alongside the true left bank of the Waitawheta River. Cross the suspension bridge and continue upstream on the Crown Track past the Crown Stope and a picturesque swimming hole (40 minutes from the start) and then through the tunnel.
A bridge crosses the Waitawheta River just before you reach Dickey Flat. Return the same way or pitch your camp for a relaxing overnight stay (fees apply).
Located on the southern side of the Ohinemuri River. The main access point is the Karangahake Reserve Carpark on SH29 at Karangahake.
Mountain biking is not permitted.
Mine tunnels and shafts are dangerous and may be hidden by vegetation.
The lower part of the Crown Track between the Karangahake Gorge Historic Walkway and the Underground Pumphouse will regularly be closed when heavy rainfall is forecast. This is to ensure public safety, which could be affected by weather-induced slips and rock fall - regular occurrences on this track.
The Underground Pumphouse and Dickey Flat Campsite would still be accessible via the Windows Walk when the lower Crown Track is closed.
Check with the Tauranga Office for the current status, or call the DOC hotline 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468) at weekends and public holidays.